Updated: Apr 28, 2020
By Pastor Shana Wise
Genesis 18:10-12, And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
There are different types of laughter. From funny to sarcastic (which Sarah did), to joyful and sad. Have you ever laughed to keep from crying because your situation seamed so desolate and hopeless? That was Sarah’s response when she heard the news about her becoming pregnant in her old age.
We serve a God who is able to distinguish the different kinds of laughter because He knows the spirit behind it. Sarah was laughing out of disbelief at the Word that she was going to give birth to a son-and God heard the spirit of disbelief. When He questioned her about it, she lied, and God called her out on it. Despite her disbelief, God still fulfilled his promise to Abraham.
This scripture is so powerful because:
1. God will bless you in spite of your disbelief.
2. God fulfills his promises.
3. Sarah received the overflow of Abraham’s blessings. He believed God first and because of it, Sarah received the benefits.
4. God can still “birth” things in our old age.
5. God can make the impossible, possible.
Let us look at the contrast and a similar situation to Sarah’s through the story of Elizabeth:
Luke 1:24-25 (NLT), Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
Luke 1:42, Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.
The contrast between these elderly women responses:
1. Sarah laughed out of fear and disbelief and Elizabeth laughed out of joy.
2. Elizabeth was the spouse that believed God without questioning him, unlike her husband Zachariah, who questioned God and became mute until after John was born (Luke 1:5-20).
3. Elizabeth’s immediate response was of praise and thanksgiving (Luke 1:42-44). She did not let her physical limitations override her faith in God (Luke 1:24-25).
4. Elizabeth shared her good news (testified) with Mary to the point John leaped in her womb (Luke 1:41). Elizabeth also stood on the promise of God when she was challenged with the naming of John-she did not waver in her faith (Luke 1:57-60).
God is still in the business of making us laugh today, but it is our response to the Word that he is observing.
How are you responding to what God is doing through you despite your age, limitations, situation, or circumstances?
What is your fear when it comes to moving forward in everything God has for you? What impossible things are you expecting from God?
God is the author and finisher of our faith! He loves us and wants to make us laugh with joy at His unlimited power in our lives! Put your trust in God today and enjoy this wonderful journey with him here today and forevermore!
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is an ordained Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016). She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network formally known as Christian Women Preachers United. Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election (available on Amazon). She received a doctor of divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. She is a televangelist that appears on social media outlets and television. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.